Tourism Operators Optimistic For Strong Season But Still Lots of Work To Be Done

Halifax, NS (May 23, 2017) - The Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS) has released industry survey data that reports operators expect another strong year for tourism activity across the province.

"Our recent business confidence survey asked over 1000 operators about their forecast for 2017. Nearly 85% of respondents identified they expect this year to be as good as or better than 2016," says TIANS Chairman, Glenn Squires. "When adding this data to recent reports from Bay Ferries of strong advance reservations on the International Link to the United States, Canada 150 celebrations, and other positive travel indicators, it would appear that we are on track to bring in some healthy tourism revenues for Nova Scotia, says Squires. Earlier this month the CAT ferry reported bookings are up significantly, trending at levels comparable to 2007 and 2008; two of their best years in passenger numbers. "Global conditions are good for Nova Scotia's tourism industry and we need to make the most out of the opportunities in front of us," says Squires.

Last year tourism revenue in Nova Scotia reached $2.6 billion and this generated almost $300 million in tax revenue for all levels of government. Governments use this revenue to fund essential services such as health care, education, and infrastructure. According to the World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) Tourism spending has the highest multiplier effect in the economy; with every $1 spent another $3.2 is generated in the community. "We hear lots of talk about money being spent on tourism investments but we rarely discuss the return," says Darlene Grant Fiander, President of TIANS. "When you consider the significance of tourism to the Nova Scotia economy, governments are getting a very good return. No other sector can do what tourism is doing in every Nova Scotia community. In addition to the economic impacts, tourism shapes the cultural and social fabric of our communities," says Grant Fiander.

TIANS noted the importance of building a strong tourism sector that can weather market conditions.This means addressing issues that impede growth. As part of Election 2017, TIANS is asking parties for their position on a number of issues. One area the Association is concerned with is the lack of implementation around the 2011 Natural Resource Strategy. A healthy environment goes hand and hand with a healthy tourism industry, and TIANS is urging all parties to recommit to implementing the recommendations from the Strategy around clear cutting targets, harvesting volumes and methods and herbicide spraying. TIANS expects to discuss these and other issues during its 40th Annual General Meeting at Digby Pines Resort on May 25th, noting it is important to ensure tourism is part of the economic platform in this election.

Working with partner associations and stakeholders, TIANS is committed to representing the best interests of the Industry; enhancing and supporting the development of a competitive business environment; advocating on issues critical to the Industry's success; and most importantly, leading Nova Scotia's most promising economic sector.

– 30 –

For more information please contact:

Darlene Grant Fiander, President, TIANS
2089 Maitland St. Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 902.880.3788
alternate number 902.880.4088